Is the Big 12 in trouble as a conference and headed towards its demise? Just as you cannot reasonably predict the long term success of a school like the University of Houston based upon one or two seasons, you cannot evaluate an entire conference based upon such a short time frame. Not the PAC 12 from the disappointing results of last season nor the Big 12 this season.
According to Mike Casazza of the Gazzete-Mail, when WVU played them last year Baylor was ranked #2, TCU #5, Oklahoma #15 and Oklahoma State #21. Nearly half the conference was in the top 25. At the end of the season the Big 12 had Oklahoma and TCU in the top 10, Baylor at #13, and Oklahoma State at #20. That is competitive with any power 5 conference.
Currently Baylor, WVU and Oklahoma are in the top 25 and no one knows where they will finish at season’s end. Will the Big 12 make the playoffs this year? If anyone really knows right now I could use some investment advice.
The primary reasons for this year’s poor image of the conference is from Oklahoma’s President Boren creating confusion with his public statements and ESPN pundits running the conference down with their opinions. Expansion may indeed be in trouble for the smallest power 5 conference, but the Big 12 itself is stable.
Who knows what will happen when we approach 2025? At my age I don’t expect to even find out. What is the actual justification for all of the predictions of doom and gloom? Not even the most money or publicity hungry of attorneys has ever challenged any conference Grant of Rights and there is likely a reason.
The Big 12 does not have a conference broadcasting network and none is on the horizon with such a limited number of media outlets. The ACC Network hasn’t started yet, the PAC 12 is doing little more than breaking even and the Longhorn Network still is not profitable.
The projections of the SEC and B1G striking it rich are based upon the continued dominance of cable and satellite TV. Both are facing growing challenges from quickly growing online entities. The technology of broadcasting sports is quickly changing.
Will the Big 12 Conference survive in the long term? No one can justifiably make that prediction based only upon the current disappointing play of Texas and Oklahoma or the opinions of sports writers and announcers.